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Herbert Roper Barrett (1873-1943) - An early English lawn tennis player

January 12, 2012, 10:50 am - (2 years ago)
This is the obituary of Herbert Roper Barrett which appeared in the London "Times" newspaper on July 28, 1943, the day after Herbert Roper Barrett's death at the age of 69.

"Sporting News

"Death of Mr Roper Barrett

"A Great Lawn Tennis Player and Captain

"Mr Herbert Roper Barrett, who died in hospital at Horsham yesterday, will be remembered chiefly for his connexion with lawn tennis, both as player, captain, and organizer, and particularly for his part in the regaining of the Davis Cup in the year 1933 after an interval of 21 years.

"On that occasion he was non-playing captain of the British team, as he had been for some years, and though he took no actual part in the play he did much by his enthusiasm, his encouragement, his wise advice, and far-seeing organization to ensure the victory at Auteuil which brought the cup back again to England. Roper Barrett himself had played in the first English Davis Cup team in the first match against the United States 33 years earlier.

"Born on November 24, 1873, son of the late Mr [Joseph] Barrett, he was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and became a solicitor like his father. He was the sole partner in the firm of Joseph Barrett and Son, of Leadenhall Street, E.C. [in London], and had a large practice, but it was through lawn tennis that the general public came to know him. No other player has maintained his place in the front rank of players and represented his country over so long a period.

"He learned the game at the Forest Gate Club and represented England against America as a member of the first Davis Cup team in 1900. He also played for his country in 1907, 1912, 1913, 1914, and 1919 and 1920. Better known, perhaps, as a doubles than as a singles player, he won the [Wimbledon] doubles championship in 1909 with Arthur Wentworth Gore, and he won again in 1912 and 1913, both times in partnership with Charles P. Dixon. He reached the final of the doubles at Wimbledon one other year [1900], when he and Harold Nisbet took the brothers Doherty to five sets before being beaten. There can be no doubt that he was a very fine doubles player and he was a fortunate man who could get him as a partner.

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